‘You don’t manage people, you lead them’

True leadership is far more than giving orders, rewarding those who carry them out and punishing those who don’t.

As we all work harder and face enormous pressure to do more with less in volatile times, great leadership is at a premium. While a manager focuses on providing resources and processes for teams to do their work, a skilled leader inspires and motivates them, bringing meaning to their jobs and transforming an organization.

Leaders set a vision and decide which path an organization will travel.

A job title of Manager may confer authority but it doesn’t necessarily create a great leader. Leaders engage and influence people. You don’t lead machines, you lead people. Unless you understand human nature, you can’t really lead.

Yet great leaders grow out of having an understanding of how to manage. This must be part of the career of a leader. The failure of many companies is due to poor management systems and processes although their leaders are transformational, charismatic types.

Leaders are made through the school of hard knocks. No one is perfect and coping with mistakes is core to leading. One newly appointed CEO of a large Australian company says, 'You have to learn to leave your ego at the door'. He realized the people he was leading knew far more than he would ever know about the operations of his company. ‘You have to be comfortable with that and understand it is part of being a leader’, he says.

The goal for leaders is no longer just obedience – it is achievement. Leaders must recognize that not all followers can be led and motivated in the same way. Each needs to be led differently and led differently at different times.

When leaders and followers work together and share responsibility, goals can be achieved.

Source: Q Business: Leader or Manager, David Morrison, former Chief of Army